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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cape Cobra

Afrikaans name: Kaapse Geelslang

Cape Cobra

Cape Cobra

Photo © Sean -

Naja nivea

The Cape Cobra is referred to as a 'geelslang' (yellow snake) in Afrikaans and it is not hard to see why. Although their colour varies you do get forms that are bright yellow in colour.

These snakes are normally less than 1.5 metres in length but some individuals reach a length of 2 metres or more.

Cape Cobras are mainly active during the day. They normally hunt small rodents, frogs, lizards and smaller snakes on the ground but they do raid weaver nests high up in trees.

They lay up to 20 eggs at a time. The newy hatched Cape Cobras are around 35 cm in length.

Cape Cobras have a highly toxic venom and will bite with little provocation. They are responsible for human deaths, in South Africa, that the notorious Black Mamba.


References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Snakes of Southern Africa - Author: V.F.M. Fitzsimmons - Year Published: 1970 - Page: 157

A Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Graham Alexander and Johan Marais - Year Published: 2007 - Page: 154

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 76

Bill Branch's Field Guide to the Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Bill Branch - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 93

Questions and Answers - Snakes and Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: John Comrie-Greig - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 28

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 406

Reptiles & Amphibians of Southern Africa - Author: Warren Schmidt - Year Published: 2006 - Page: 37

Reptiles of Southern Africa - Author: Rod Patterson and Anothony Bannister - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 89

Sasol First Field Guide to Snakes & other Reptiles of Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Tracey Hawthorne - Year Published: 2016 - Page: 37

Snakes of Africa - Author: R.M. Isemonger - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 212

Wild Issue 21 - Author: - Year Published: 2012 - Page: 76

Wild Issue 42 - Author: - Year Published: 2018 - Page: 63

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 252

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